On Sunday, I wrote an article detailing the Cowboys need for a new defensive coordinator and laid out several choices as to who that person should be. In case you missed it, you can read that article here:
The defense received a lot of much deserved attention for its ineptitude this past season. Obviously, I’m fully on board with replacing Monte Kiffin because changes needs to be made. I understand it was only one year and there were the injuries and the defense created a lot of turnovers and blah, blah, blah. It was an embarrassment. I never want to hear about injuries in football. They happen. They happen to every team at every position. It’s an excuse to just blame everything on that.
Did the Cowboys suffer an inordinate amount of injuries? Absolutely. Did key players miss significant time? Absolutely. All I am saying is that you could comb through every team and find the same to be true. Green Bay missed arguably one of the five best players in all of football for eight weeks, had numerous injuries across the board and still made the playoffs and almost advanced to round two. Injuries can be overcome.
I do not want to put all the blame at the feet of the defense however for yet another 8-8 season in Dallas. The offense deserves some too, which is why today’s article will focus on replacing the offensive coordinator as well.
At first glance, you may be thinking: “What’s wrong with the offense? We scored over 27 points a game which was good enough to be one of the five best in the league. Are you crazy!?!”
Yeah… but that’s a separate story.
On the surface, it would appear that the offense was it’s normal potent self, until you dig deeper. 2013 was the worst year since Jason Garrett has been a coach in Dallas in regards to total yards and passing yards. Prior to this past season, the worst Dallas had ever been in passing yards was 9th. In 2013, they were 14th. In a NFL world where it’s easier than ever to pass (the Cleveland Browns who started Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer at QB this year eclipsed 4,000 passing yards!), the Cowboys passing attack was just average.
And before you tell me about the improvements that Dallas made in the rushing attack, please realize that this year’s finish of 24th in rushing yards was only better in that same time span than last year’s finish of second to last. Otherwise, Dallas usually hovers around the middle of the pack. As for the rushing touchdowns, those increased dramatically because there were several times that either the defense or the special teams got the offense ridiculously close to scoring without actually doing so themsevles. Speaking of scoring, the four defensive and special teams touchdowns certainly aided the overall point total getting the Cowboys into the top five of that specific category.
What makes all of this even further disconcerting is that eleven of the Cowboys sixteen games this year came against teams that were in the bottom half of the league in total yards allowed, including four games against teams in the bottom three. The injury excuse does not really work either as Tony Romo only missed one game and DeMarco Murray only missed two. Otherwise, the offense was relatively healthy.